Dan Evans reflects on stunning Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo

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Dan Evans reflects on stunning Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo

Dan Evans entered the match against Novak Djokovic believing he could win. Earlier this year at the Monte Carlo Masters, Evans handed a straight-set defeat to Djokovic. "My dad messaged me afterwards saying, “Jeez that was good”, and he doesn’t say too much, so that was special,’ Evans tells Sportsmail.

"If I’m honest Monte Carlo is not my kind of place. It has never appealed to me that much. "But to beat a world No 1 on clay when I supposedly had no chance, it summed up why I carried on when there were a lot of things going against me.

"If you don’t think you can win then why open the tin of balls? That’s what I felt that day. Novak showed he can be vulnerable. "As British players we can be too polite. I don’t know if it’s because we are taught this way, or the type of people who get into tennis, their background, perhaps that’s to not fight so hard.

Sometimes they would rather play a nice match and not upset anybody. "If you look at those who have been successful in our sport, they respect people but know how to win. Tim Henman thought he was good and had the game to beat anyone.

Greg Rusedski with his serve. Andy Murray has always relished scraps with the best."

Evans has high expectations from Stefanos Tsitsipas

"I’ve played Stefanos Tsitsipas a few times and in my opinion, he is closest to being the next guy who will take the mantle.

If he came to the net a bit more that would be him complete,’ he says. ‘His forehand and backhand are so good. Alex Zverev has got the attitude, he thinks he’s mustard and that’s a big thing. Those two are a bit ahead of the others, in my opinion."

Evans faced some lows after returning from the drugs ban. "When I returned from the drugs ban, I remember one conversation with Simon Timson (the LTA’s then Performance Director) when he told me he didn’t think I had much chance of getting back.

That was a tough one to listen to. ‘I remember losing a first round at a small Challenger event in Adelaide in the first week of 2019. That was difficult, I had played so well in the lead-up and then flopped. I despaired after that for a few days. My then coach David Felgate did a decent job getting me through that."